This year, the Netherlands will receive a subsidy of EUR 18,5 million from Brussels for international rail connections. 12,6 million of this goes to the fast direct connection between Groningen and Bremen, the so-called Wunderline. Another 5,9 million is earmarked for the rail freight link between Venlo and Kaldenkirchen. 

In addition, an additional 19,5 million euros in European subsidies will go towards making freight trains from the countries around us quieter. The Netherlands also has an interest in this, because international trains make up more than 90 percent of rail freight transport by rail. That reports the National government.

Obtaining European subsidies is a welcome support for State Secretary Van Veldhoven (Infrastructure and Water Management), who is working on better and faster rail connections with the countries around us. In the coming years she wants to tempt two million travelers to choose the train at short distances within Europe. When the new European Commission is soon installed, Van Veldhoven will be committed to good and fast international rail connections in Brussels.

The formal decision for the arrival of the fast Wunderline between Groningen and Bremen was taken earlier this year. Travelers will be traveling from one city to another in about two hours by train that will be running here. The cabinet is investing 17 million euros in this. Rail manager ProRail and the German colleague will start the necessary work to establish the connection by 2021 at the latest.

For Venlo - Kaldenkirchen, the subsidy money is spent on solving bottlenecks that still exist on the cross-border route. The improved connection will soon contribute to a better international accessibility of Venlo and the surrounding region. Specifically, this concerns the extension of tracks and yards that must be made suitable for longer freight trains.

TEN-T network

A total of € 97,5 million in European subsidy was paid this year. The Dutch share of 16 percent is therefore high. The subsidies come from the European program for the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). The aim of this program is to create a single cross-border network for land, water and air transport within the European Union. 

Every year projects are nominated by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. Today, the European member states agreed to the proposed decision concerning the subsidy distribution of the European Commission.

Read also: Eurostar and Thalys will merge at high speed

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